Issue No. 6 Summer 2022
magazine for and about women podcasters
Ragavi & Nisha
www.womenwhopodcastmag.com copyright 2022
SUMMER ISSUE 2022
SUMMER ISSUE 2022
The Team KATHY BARRON Founder, Editor-in-Chief
TINA JARAMILLO Writer, Editor
Contributing Writers Elaine Best, Natalie Boero, Serena Gay, Michelle Leivars, Sandy Lowres, Punam Saxena, Elikqitie, Crystal Warren
Logo design Leah Walukones
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Welcome Summer is usually the time when podcasters take a well deserved break from recording, editing, and promoting their podcast. In most instances even though podcasters are in between seasons, they make sure previous episodes are posted so there is consistency and engagement with listeners isn’t interrupted. So although, technically, podcasters take a break, there is always some aspect of their podcast that needs to be tended to. Burnout is all too real in the podcasting community. Taking care of ourselves in a way that refreshes, rejuvenates, and reenergizes us is crucial in producing a podcast for the long haul. Having someone that encourages, inspires, and advocates for you is essential for growth; both personally and professionally. Many of the podcasters interviewed for this issue want the future of women podcasters to be a place where they didn’t have to create spaces for themselves, their podcasts are more mainstream, and they had the support and knowledge readily available to them. The Women Who Podcast Symposium that we held in May was a prime example of how podcasters can come together, learn as a community, and continue supporting and learning from each other after the event ends. A few great ideas came out of the symposium that I’ll be announcing in the next month. Just know that what is coming down the pipe will bring women podcasters together to celebrate triumphs, provide the tools needed to be successful, and create a collaborative community. Enjoy your summer and come back even stronger. It’s time we start a real revolution to get more women’s voices heard. Who’s with me?
Kathy Barron Editor-in-Chief
Elaine Best is the host and producer of the mental health/ comedy podcast Angus Eye Tea. She is a mental health advocate, writer, and comedian who spends her days by the beach with her sidekick, Fern. www.anguseyetea.com @anguseyetea
Natalie Boero is a sociologist, professor, author, and mom of twins. In her spare time she enjoys reading, exercise, baseball, doom-scrolling, and traveling. @natalieboero
Serena Gay Serena Gay is a BBC-trained radio journalist who founded and now runs Made4U Podcasts based in Cheltenham in the west of the UK. Made4U Podcasts launches podcasts for entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations to help them reach new streams of profitable clients. Serena also personally hosts three podcasts including the weekly with tips and tricks on how to launch a business podcast. www.made4u-podcasts.co.uk
While Tina Jaramillo hasn’t pulled any political strings, she has cut through enough literary red tape to know a juicy political story when she sees one. When she’s not blowing the whistle on historical hi-jinx as co-host of The Muck Podcast, she is corralling her family (including her adorable pup), advocating for others through her volunteer work, or crafting tales and blankets (in no particular order). themuckpodcast.fireside.fm @themuckpodcast
Michelle Leivars is the founder of the multi-award winning fragrance and beauty brand The Soap Sponge Company. With a passion for supporting women and sharing their incredible stories, she is the producer and host of Yes SHE Can Project podcast. www.thesoapspongecompany.co.uk @thesoapspongecompany @yesshecanprojectpodcast
Sandy Lowres is a pro-ageing advocate, founder of awardwinning platform Women Beyond Forty and Creative Director of Wb40 Magazine. She is the host of The Good Girl Confessional Podcast, and co-host of Alex The Seal Podcast. Sandy has a passion for sharing the hard-won wisdom of women beyond the age of 40 and helping women to rise. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. wb40.com @womenbeyondforty
Punam Saxena is the founder of the edu-Me, author of Parent Power: Navigate School and Beyond, host of the edu-Me podcast, and TedX speaker. She has been featured in the magazines Shoutout Atlanta and Global Fluency.Her extra-curricular activities include running, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family. www.edu-me.net @theedume
Elikqitie is a passionate content creator, podcast producer, author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur who understands the importance of content marketing, creating original copy in your voice and style and having consistent branding across your digital marketing platforms. www.travelglutenfreepodcast.com @travelglutenfreepodcast
Crystal Warren Crystal Warren is a writer, astrologer, and self-development coach, who strives to be the architect of her life. www.insightfullycrystal.com
Ask the Podcaster What’s your process for choosing a guest/topic for an episode?
There are a couple of ways that my process can look. Typically, I find guests based on their back story and how it relates to the podcast’s topic. In my case, it is sobriety and creativity. I am also mindful of the voice behind the story regarding craft, social economics, culture, and relationship to their sobriety. The goal is to have different perspectives in the season in order to help tell the bigger story.
What do you know now that you wished you knew prior to starting your podcast?
I wish I knew more about the difference between podcast platforms. Now that I do, the transition can seem tedious.
Have you experienced podfade? How did you overcome it?
Podfade is a real thing that sometimes can come from pod burnout. I know that I can experience this, so I create podcast seasons. It allows me to go hard when I am on and take a break in-between seasons. The tricky part is not waiting too long to come back, so I have established bonus episodes in between to help bridge the old and new seasons while keeping myself accountable.
What’s one thing you can’t live without (for your podcast)?
Good audio. My mic and headphones are everything. I am working my way towards the Shure SM7B. So far, the evolution has been the Apple Ear Pods with Mic (S1) and then the RODE PodMic (S2). For Season 3, it was the Blu Yeti Pro which will be most likely the mic I use in Season 4. I consider myself a gearhead and I like experimenting with audio, so this configuration can constantly change. Headphones used through all seasons are the Sennheiser HD 25.
Missing Mei is the host of The Creative Sober podcast. She welcomes all creatives on the soberiety spectrum to her online Creative Sober Community. thecreativesober.com @thecreativesober 9
Leveraging Consumer Facing Expos to Grow Your Audience by Elikqitie
One of the many overlooked opportunities to grow your podcast and find guests who are in the same vertical market as your podcast content is consumer-facing expos. A consumer-facing expo is where businesses and companies in a specific vertical market sell to consumers and have a booth to promote and sell their products to the public. Each consumer expo has a different niche that they serve. For example, some popular consumer expos center around the topic of weddings, home improvement, and technology. Consumer-facing events and exhibitions are powerful marketing tools. They provide a platform to get in front of your ideal client to speak face to face with them. You’ll have a chance to promote your podcast, product, or service to your niche market, which may not have heard of your podcast or service previously. Expos offer an excellent opportunity to meet existing and potential listeners as well. Check Out Consumer Expos Before You Buy a Table Before purchasing a table at an upcoming expo, my advice is to get in on a press pass. As a podcaster, you create media. If you’re also an influencer, you can also receive free or reduced-cost access to most expos if you agree to promote the expo on your social and website. When you contact an expo to get a free ticket for their event, mention that you’re game for having them as a “featured” guest on an episode of your show. Many event coordinators understand the value and power of podcasting. They will most likely be very excited to have you as a guest at their show. In addition, you can also sweeten the deal (if they don’t give you a free pass for being a podcaster or influencer) by mentioning that you’d be glad to offer feature interviews with their main sponsors. This gives the event a coolness factor and a bonus offer that they cannot offer their sponsors, putting them in a better place to attract more sponsors the following year! Purchasing a Table at an Expo Tables can be pricey, so look around to see who’s offering the best deal. If you’re new to this arena, I’d suggest starting at a local event near your home, one that’s easy to drive to, if that’s available. Also, if you’re an author with a podcast many events offer author booths at a reduced price for people to sell their books if they’re an author. This is a great way to advertise your podcast at a lower price than a regular booth table. However, you will need to have a paper copy of your book to sell, so you’ll need to bring your books. How to Promote Your Podcast at a Consumer Expo When you’re at a consumer expo, you’ll want to be prepared to collect emails and information and hand out materials so that your booth visitors have information about your podcast. 11
Since my podcast is Travel Gluten Free, I’ve had a booth at several different consumer-facing gluten-free expos. In addition, I can also go to travel expos to promote my podcast. However, a gluten-free expo will have more of my target niche. As people walk by my table, I ask them, “Do you listen to podcasts?” This is the perfect way to stop someone and grab their attention because you aren’t selling them a product or service. Instead, I engage in conversation with them, helping them download a podcast player (if needed), then give them my 4x6 flyer, which I create on Canva and send to Vistaprint. I always make my flyer on plain paper with a space to write information on the backside, so I can direct them to specific episodes that help them with traveling pain points they are dealing with right now. I also sell my book, The Guide to Traveling Gluten Free, at the gluten-free expos I attend. This is a win-win for me as a podcaster because I advertise my book on my podcast even if they don’t buy the book. At the very least, they are listening to my advertisement on my podcast, following me on social media, and I may have obtained their email address with my prize drawing. How to Acquire Emails at an Expo The best way that I’ve found to acquire emails at an expo is to either offer a free ebook that sends the consumer down your email sales funnel or drip campaign or do a prize basket giveaway. Of course, what you give away depends on what you offer; however, my advice is to give away something easy or free for you to provide to the winner. Something that isn’t going to cost you a bunch of time or money. Remember, the idea is to capture email addresses, not to give away the bank, so think creatively to figure out a good offer that consumers will want that isn’t going to cost you much in the way of time or money. The Advantage of Being a Podcast at an Expo While many vendors are selling products or services, I haven’t come across another podcaster at an expo. Since businesses outnumber podcasts by a large percentage, you’re likely going to be the only podcaster at the event, giving you a unique space and making you stand out among the crowd. Your specialty as a podcaster will draw people to ask you a ton of questions about your podcast. The question I always get is, “how much money do you make as a podcaster?” While you’re not there to answer their questions about podcasting, I’d recommend letting them know to subscribe to your podcast to find out more about what you do and for them to contact you through your website when you have more time to chat about podcasting. You can also recommend your favorite podcast school or training that you learned to podcast from.
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The Power of Podcast Reviews by Michelle Leivars
How many times have you wanted to buy a product but needed to check out the reviews first? We, as consumers, need to know what people before us have thought of a product, how it’s worked for them, and how it’s made them feel. We buy into the trends online, such as the latest gadgets, best beauty products, bargain buys, or THE must have items of the moment. The same rules apply when it comes to podcasting. You as a podcaster are fulfilling a need, you’re creating an experience, you’re involving your audience directly, and making them feel a certain way. Podcasting is a service. You are serving people, your audience, and your content in your podcast is your product. Just as a retailer is building that trust with their customers; you, as a podcaster, are building that trust with your audience. A great way to do this is through reviews, which could benefit you when it comes to sponsors and monetizing your podcast. Having a wealth of reviews will help gain a potential sponsor’s trust, too, and make their investment in you seem more appealing. As a business they want to know that their ideal client is listening to your work and taking something from it. Reviews can help them see that from an independent perspective. What’s more, reviews enable listeners to check you out and intrigue them amidst the wash of millions of other shows that they can choose from. For example, if someone was looking for a new podcast to listen to, they may go onto their favorite streaming platform, search the category that interests them, and instead of listening to every upload in the category, they might head straight to the reviews. Listeners who read reviews may be looking for a feeling; or knowledge and advice, or even a sense of belonging. They may want to see how a show has made the listeners feel, and they want to experience that same feeling themselves. When you first start out in podcasting, getting reviews can be difficult. As your initial drive and enthusiasm goes purely into getting your content out there and your voice heard. It can be hard in the beginning as the main focus is building an audience, increasing engagement, and making people sit back and listen to what you and your show has to say. Once you start that review process it can seem daunting. Not only do you need reviews on your content, you want reviews on you as a host, how you made your guests feel, your interview style and the structure and format of your show. But how do podcasters get the reviews they need? Traditionally people are more likely to leave reviews if they’ve had a negative experience, whether that be with a product, an experience, or a service. Think about how many times you’ve been disappointed with any of these three things and have felt the need to rectify it after feeling wronged. However, on the flip side, think about how many times you’ve had a great experience, used a fantastic product or received an excellent service, that satisfaction doesn’t tend to prompt the same urgency to leave a review. Because, as a consumer, that’s what we are conditioned to expect; to feel happy with something, for something to essentially do what we expected it to do. That’s where the issues can come in with collecting reviews. 15
You may find some people contact you with great feedback via your social media channels or via email, which is brilliant, but you then have to ask them to leave an official review, which can feel uncomfortable. In whatever walk of life or career you are in, asking for reviews can really give you the ick. But it’s important to remember, you are doing a great job. Let me tell you why - people who are listening to your podcast are getting what they need from it, you are providing them with that sense of satisfaction after listening, because they are CONTINUING to listen. Reviews can be super beneficial in helping your podcast to grow, it’s just about getting over that hurdle of asking for them. Making sure reviewers use keywords and phrases can also help people discover you, and can be great for bumping your podcast up on Google. The more “buzz words” that are used within your reviews, the higher up the rankings your podcast will be. Podcasting is a huge part of our lives, but we are only a small part of other people’s. People’s lives generally are super busy and they like convenience and ease, it’s up to us as podcasters to make things as easy as possible for them, to slot listening to our show into their lives, and the same applies when it comes to leaving a review. We’ve got to catch people at that point where they’ve got an episode or a particular guest fresh in their mind, that undoubtedly can be a challenge but totally achievable. We want to grab their attention when they’ve just listened to an episode and are excited about listening to the next one, that’s the best time to try and grab that feedback and capture those feelings. One strategy is to start with your guest. After recording, maybe send them a feedback form that you can convert into a review, ask them what they enjoyed about the session, whether they felt comfortable, or if there was anything they would like you to have done differently. Make them feel like a part of your journey (which they absolutely are!) Next, through social media you will get to know who your regular listeners are, people who engage with posts about your episodes will be the ones whose attention you are grabbing and the ones that are happy with your content. If it’s a podcast that people are enjoying and getting something from they will be more than happy to help when you ask, as you are continuing to provide them with what they are needing at that particular time in their life, which is why they are continuing to listen. You’ll be surprised at how many of your audience will feel privileged to be a part of your journey; never forget how impactful your work can be. It’s about standing true and confident in your work and asking for help to grow your audience and reach more people. Reviews can help you both personally and professionally, hearing people’s feedback can be a real confidence boost for you and reinforce your passion for doing what you do, whilst also helping your podcast to grow, it’s a win- win.
Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery by Elaine Best
On May 16th, 2022, Apple announced their new feature, Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery, to launch in the Fall of 2022 which will allow the podcast distribution process to be simpler for many users through a third-party host. According to Libsyn, this service will allow new podcasters to cut through many of the current steps needed to get their podcast on Apple. The biggest change with this new service is that podcasters will no longer need an Apple ID to submit their show to Apple Podcasts. The submission process for Delegated Delivery will occur within the third-party hosting platform the podcaster currently uses, so everything will be centralized on one platform. As of June Delivery: ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
2022, here is the list of third-party hosting platforms that will work with Delegated Acast ART19 Blubrry Buzzsprout Libsyn Omny Studio RSS.com
To many podcasters, this new process will come as a huge relief. The Apple Podcasts submission process is notorious for having bug issues and unpredictable turnaround times, as well as other hiccups such as the “login loop”where users attempt to sign into their account and are bounced back to the sign-in page, or worse, directed to iTunes, a dead end with few helpful support forum responses seeing as Apple is phasing out the software. While Delegated Delivery does not require a login to Apple Podcasts Connect, it is required for any shows that wish to publish premium content that listeners need to pay to access. The review process will also remain in place for all new shows. Indie podcasters who struggled with juggling the many different aspects of setting up a show and managing it themselves will hopefully find that these changes make it easier to create. The future of podcasting continues to streamline the upload process, encouraging new users to take the leap to make their own podcast and share it with the world.
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From The Horsebox by Kathy Barron
Claire Rosselli and Kate Churton have known each other for many years as they married into each other’s family. So when the lockdown hit their community and they were looking for something creative to do, Kate suggested they create a podcast together. From the Horsebox (for those not familiar with the term, horse box is how horses are transported) is all about Claire and Kate traveling the England countryside chatting to inspiring people about wildlife, farming, and field sports. The hosts also interview people out in the field (literally) for racing and gardening competitions. Claire and Kate uncover hidden stories behind the banjo playing farrier to a retired racecourse executive who ran two of England’s premier race courses. When they first started a little over a year ago, they already had an established network in the countryside since they own horses, hounds, and the social life that comes with it. Prior to posting their podcast on a mainstream platform, Claire and Kate recorded four interviews and sent them out to their group of friends. The interviews were a way for them to keep in touch with their network during the lockdown and felt it was an important link to everybody. “They were quite astounded to hear friendly voices and I think it did fulfill quite a major need in the countryside at that time,” explains Claire. Recording their first episode was quite scary for the hosts considering they decided to interview a celebrity within their network. And even though the content was exceptional and the interview went smoothly, they were still incredibly nervous. “He was a particularly interesting person and everybody loved it,” adds Kate. They still get nervous when interviewing their guests but have found a rhythm and enjoy the conversations. They ended up recording four episodes in a month and soon after realized that it was a bit ambitious for them to continue at that speed. From the Horsebox is now a monthly podcast with occasional bonus episodes sprinkled in. “We’ve stuck with it and have done fun ones like the gardening and dancing competitions. We go to the hunt race and where the horse races are held and did interviews. So we’ve done a variety,” says Claire. One of her favorites is the bonus episode “The Wynnstay Gardening Competition 2021” (EP 11). “It’s really funny and you get a flavor of what our gang is all about; the humor and what it’s like over here.” Kate’s favorite episode is “From Forge to Fitness” (EP 6) when Sam Woolham (“he swaps the steel of horseshoeing for the ironman marathon”) sings a delightful folk song for the hosts. 19
Since starting their podcast, Claire and Kate have stayed true to their vision and their roots. “We’ve come to realize that we need to stick to our core audience and make sure they come first,” says Claire. “It takes a long, long time but making connections with a few people, like in America, we’ve obviously got kindred spirits.” They’ve worked hard to grow their podcast organically and their download stats have shown steady growth. The show has listeners in Japan, Moscow, Iraq, Iran, and Singapore. The hosts are proud of being heard in these places, particularly in America. “It’s very exciting when California comes up. That’s the hugely exciting thing about podcasting because you are talking to someone over the table, but you’re also talking to someone in Moscow,” marvels Claire. Networking with other podcasters and people within the podcast community has definitely helped Claire and Kate. Their reach is growing and potential guests recognize their names and podcast. The next step for the show is to collaborate with other podcasts and gain listeners that are outside of their regular network. The hosts encourage women who are thinking about starting a podcast to ask themselves questions like: Who is it for? What is your vision? And to just do it. “We did have a good starting point, but on the other hand, you’ve got to start somewhere and then you’ll learn,” says Kate. The fact that they can be creative together is important to both of them, and they both bring different things to the table. Because they’ve known each other for a long time, they were familiar with each other and their personalities. They work well together and respect each other’s ideas. Having a cohost is a great asset because there’s a lot of work to produce for each episode. One of the biggest challenges for Kate is having enough time because once they decide on who they will interview, a lot of effort goes into coming up with the questions, recording, and editing each episode. And there are challenges outside of prepping for an episode. They once recorded an episode last minute and decided not to publish it. “Nobody had done anything unlawful, but the guest worried that the interview would make him vulnerable from others in his industry. We do this for fun, and we didn’t want to put us or him in a difficult position down the line,” explains Claire. Claire and Kate know that it’s their responsibility to make sure their guests are shown in the best light. 20
“We always send them (the guest) the final version before it goes live and nobody’s ever said something. We are very, very careful not to give away information that you shouldn’t, and on the horse side there are certain sorts of subjects that are a bit, um, sort of dicey at the moment here in England. We’re really sort of sensible about that,” adds Kate. Another challenge is not finding a category that fits their show. They find that the categories are too broad and don’t quite fit their topic. “There’s quite a lot of strands to the horse world and the farming world. It’s not just the horses, it’s farming and the countryside,” explains Claire. They would like to tap into the “horsey people” in England and around the world.
Looking back at when they began their podClaire casting journey, Claire and Kate wished they weren’t so scared to take the leap. “It was quite frightening to have to be listened to by your friends and judged. But I don’t think I’m so nervous anymore. It’s very hard to get the words out in any sort of order to start with, and you’re not used to it. We’ve come a long way in the year,” shares Claire. The two work well together and wouldn’t want to be doing it on their own because it could be too solitary. “It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and everything. It would be quite a massive task on your own,” adds Kate. Claire and Kate’s goal for From the Horsebox is to have fun and enjoy doing it. “It has to be a balance between getting some excitement going and also not losing sight of your roots and that you want to give everybody a voice equally. So it’s always a tightrope on that score but people are fascinating,” says Claire. Their aim is to entertain listeners by interviewing ordinary people who have an interesting story to tell. “They’ve gotta want to sell themselves a little bit. Otherwise, you get a shrinking violet. It doesn’t make a very good episode,” adds Kate. They’ve learned that in order to gain a wider range of listeners they need to interview guests of different age groups and gender. Keeping their episodes varied and intriguing makes people want to listen.
Website: fromthehorsebox.buzzsprout.com Instagram: @fromthehorsebox Country: United Kingdom 21
Confessions of a Mama Brain by Tina Jaramillo
“A Mama Brain is a person that was once a person and their entire brain changed,” Priscilla Conaway host of Confessions of a Mama Brain remarks as she settles into her chair and smiles over our Zoom call. I was eager to know more about what she meant. As a mother myself, I have definitely recognized changes—that weren’t just physical. Priscilla offered more explaining that a Mama Brain “wasn’t from creating a life, it wasn’t from carrying a life. It wasn’t after giving birth, it was that the Mama brain is completely different once your child is in your life. My brain has totally shifted the way I see things and the way I believe in things--even just drinking my coffee.” Many moms can definitely relate to the changes that happen once they have a child, and luckily listeners of Confessions of a Mama Brain can tune in and hear about the authentic challenges of motherhood many women often keep hidden. She also spoke on how these changes in how mothers may think and feel after having children is unfamiliar because everything is all so new. The thing is, parenting, while incredibly rewarding, is also challenging. But from looking at most moms, especially those posting the perfect pictures on social media, it seems that moms can do it all. Many of them in fact do. From cooking to cleaning to grocery shopping and playing nurse, it seems like the list never ends. On top of that many moms may feel pressured to not only be super-mom but at times there seems to be a societal expectation for moms to juggle everything with patience and a smile all while creating engaging moments with their families. The reality is many moms have mommy burnout or just have moments where they struggle, and that’s where Priscilla’s podcast comes in. For Priscilla it’s important for moms to know it’s okay to have a range of feelings about parenthood. She says, “I’m trying to carry these emotions as a badge of honor and not weakness.” Mothers everywhere need to feel that way. On the Confessions of a Mama Brain podcast, Priscilla provides the space for moms to tune in and explore the trials and tribulations of mom life. When asked why she started the podcast, Priscilla explains that she wanted to create a platform to share the struggles that moms like herself face. Priscilla’s background in mental health has also shaped her approach to the podcast. She knew she didn’t want to be just another parenting podcast. Instead, she really wanted to be authentic and real and connect with her listeners—and she does. Prisicilla talks about everything from “trauma to hiding in your bathroom from your kids” to showing other moms that they aren’t alone in this journey. 23
She explains, “I have to put myself out there so someone can hear that.” And Prisicilla talks about the things that many moms may be afraid to admit—things like how they love their kids more than anything but can be annoyed by them at times. For Priscilla, she wants to be authentic with her audience. She explains, “there is no filtering, there’s no sugarcoating.” Priscilla doesn’t hold back on her podcast. She laughs, she cries, and she shares her frustrations. As she leans forward toward the screen, she continues, “I have to show every shade of this transparency because how can I say it’s a confession of a mama brain?” For Priscilla, getting real with her audience is central to the show. Which is exactly what Priscilla does each episode. Because let’s face it all moms regardless of background or age or experience share some of these anxieties and fears. Priscilla expresses how the podcast has provided “many doorways, many ways of being able to connect with someone who may not see things the same way you do.” So it’s no surprise that Confessions of a Mama Brain explores topics that other parenting podcasts may shy away from. When asked how she comes up with the topics, Priscilla pauses, and says that they often come to her “right in the moment when I’m having that struggle, that challenge.” She adds that ideas also come from conversations she’s having with friends. Smiling, she says that “real time life experiences have inspired me.” Those experiences have also inspired others. Priscilla explains that people have reached out from all over to express their gratitude for the work she’s doing. She says “I’ve had people listening in different countries saying that they didn’t realize that they needed to process what I just covered until it was said.” After reflecting back on her love of writing she explains, “It’s a beautiful reminder, telling me how I’m saying these words are so powerful. How just a click is very powerful. Just a phrase is extremely powerful.” As we settled into our conversation, Priscilla’s passion for what she does shines through. She digs in deep and says that she wants her listeners to know that “this transparency, this vulnerability, these tears, this cursing is a way for us to, in a healthy way, process and have that outsource without hurting ourselves.” While Prisicilla is proud of each and every episode, one episode in particular stands out to her. Out of the many interviews she’s had, this one was unique in that she interviewed members of her family. Priscilla explains that Episode 3 of Season 1, “Various Childhood Trauma in Motherhood” still resonates with her because she learned things about her mother and sister that she never knew before. In this episode, she and her family delved into how the trauma they lived through, like many others, may have impacted and projected into motherhood. The three moms discussed their post-trauma journeys. In the interview, they spoke about how they each dealt with their trauma simultaneously and in different ways. She says, “the fact that after 30 plus years I got to have a learning experience of a trauma that I didn’t think I would recover from” offered her a level of peace and a newfound closeness to her family. Her episodes covering trauma residue and grief also still resonate with her because she understands that the topics that other parenting podcasts may sugarcoat are the very topics that need to be discussed. “There is no filtering,” Priscilla says and that’s really central to her entire show: “It’s just exactly how we are feeling.” By exploring the range of topics not only on motherhood but just on everyday life challenges so genuinely allows her to 24
connect with and uplift her listeners. “I will try to be here and support every parent so no one feels alone,” she says. When Priscilla started the podcast she, like many others, did not know where to start. The task is daunting for many a new podcaster. But despite never having podcasted before, Priscilla didn’t let that stop her. She ordered a microphone and other equipment through Amazon. YouTube tutorials on podcasting, software programs, and editing tools have all helped her hone her craft. “I checked out which platform, which software, which platform is best to record on; I created a special social media for my page for Instagram; I make funny TikTok videos,” she says. And because she’s a busy mom, she records when she can—during nap time or even late at night, which many a harried mom can relate to. She also makes sure to record a week or two ahead of time to give herself time to edit and prepare the episodes while handling parenthood and a career. Moving back from the Zoom screen to show off her makeshift studio, Priscilla explains that she has a space dedicated to podcasting. She says “I like to be at my desk; I like to have my lights low.” Her husband even helps in the process by placing a small blanket behind her sometimes to help with the audio. When discussing what she enjoys most about podcasting, Priscilla shares that it’s hitting that sweet spot in an interview where the conversation ebbs and flows naturally. She likes her conversations with her guests like her content—authentic. “There’s something about when you are connecting with someone on your show.” When interviewing guests, Priscilla is sure to do her prep work and have some things prepared for; however, she makes sure not to prep too much. “You don’t want to manufacture that magic.,“ she advises. As far as finding guests, Priscilla turns to social media and to her community. She explains, “So I had to embrace social media, and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.” She also joined a Facebook group for podcasters to not only share best practices, but it also provides her with the opportunity to meet potential interviewees. She shares, “that’s probably one of the big places that I get to connect with any type of guests.” As we neared the end of our conversation, I asked Priscilla if she had any advice to women who want to start a podcast, and she said “If it burns a fire in your soul and no matter how difficult it is, if it’s giving you a sense of purpose do not give up.” What’s more, she challenges women to find out how to do the things that may seem daunting and difficult and “do not use that as an excuse to shut your voice.” And Priscilla has done just that. So if you’re looking for a parenting podcast that’s like no other, be sure to check out Confessions of a Mama Brain.
Website: confessionsofamamabrain.godaddysites.com Instagram: @confessionsofamamabrain Twitter: @themamabrainp TikTok: @themamabrainp Country: United States 25
Why Your Podcast Needs A Trailer A podcast trailer (sometimes called a “teaser”) is a short, promotional episode meant to quickly give potential listeners a preview of your show and what they can expect. It’s an engaging way to highlight your show’s features, entice potential audiences, and drum up excitement for what’s to come. Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to have a podcast trailer: • • • •
It’s a perfect “coming soon” episode to notify people of your podcast launch. It can take up to two weeks for Apple to manually review your podcast submission. If you publish a trailer to your feed right away, you’ll be able to submit the first episode well in advance. It’s a way to promote the podcast on social media platforms and gives you a head start on growing your audience. For hosts, they help you figure out how to describe your podcast in a concise way and focus on what it offers the listener.
Trailers are your elevator pitch and typically 30 seconds to 5 minutes in length. When preparing your script, be sure to include the following: 5 5 5 5
Introduce yourself, your co-host (if applicable), and the name of the podcast. Describe your podcast, how often new episodes are posted, and when (day). Invite your target audience (who is the podcast for?). Tell listeners where they can find you (social media, website, podcast platforms).
Once you have recorded the trailer, upload the file to your podcast hosting provider. Be sure to have an eye catching title and an in-depth description for listeners. If available, choose “Trailer” under episode type when uploading the episode. Your podcast hosting provider will distribute the trailer to platforms on their directory. Double check a few of those platforms to confirm it has been posted appropriately and can be accessed without any trouble. Remember to promote your podcast on social media with a list of platforms (i.e. Stitcher, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc) where people can listen and support your show. If you don’t have a trailer, it’s never too late to record one. They are a great way to reintroduce yourself and can be updated as your podcast evolves. 26
Cut The Drivel by Serena Gay
Forgive me for being direct. But literally no one is interested in the minutiae of your life. So why broadcast it on your podcast? In particular – says she through gritted teeth – kicking off the top end of your production with meaningless burble about personal stuff is only of interest to you and your co-host. Everyone else is going to press stop or pause or next podcast. Unless you are a genuine celebrity, people are listening in to bask in the reflected glory of your content, your thought leadership, your expertise. Not, what kind of a week you had or for an update on your redecorating woes. “But hold on,” you may be saying. “Doesn’t this kind of chit chat establish the right vibe, that golden grail of podcast informality?” No, it’s just trivial and boring. It can even come across as the host literally fearing the moment they need to get stuck into the published theme of the episode. What’s more, it is disrespectful. Your listeners are giving you their time and no doubt they are busy people. To waste their time on your trivialities is unforgivable. I will grudgingly admit that there are podcasts out there which manage to get away with murder in this regard. There is one I am thinking of which is hugely successful. It is hosted by two attractive young women and is about famous unsolved crimes. You may know it. The unsolved crimes section is well-researched and engagingly presented and the podcast, as a whole, consistently wins awards and makes big bucks. I really tried to like it but only made it through one episode. A huge chunk at the start of the podcast was given over to completed unrelated conversation packed full of cuss words (offensive to me, anyway), private jokes, and references to a world I don’t inhabit. I put up with it once but never again. Obviously, I am in a minority here because this podcast is so popular – so these women must be doing something right. The fact is they are not even trying to appeal to people like me – their demographic is much younger and loves all the irreverent stuff. I suspect there is also an element of wannabe adulation and if you get to that point with your podcast – well, good on you! 29
For most of us - appealing as we do to small niches – wannabe adulation will never be on the cards. We should be aiming for an audience that listens to us because it respects our views, learns from our input, and is entertained by us. They won’t listen out of a sense of duty, but they will listen because they love your voice, engage with your content, and trust what you say. Or you make them laugh! There are plenty of ways to establish the less structured podcast vibe. For example, you can recount a story or an experience that is personal but which resonates with the theme and helpfully leads into it. You could think about your podcast the way you would present a gift wrapped in the Japanese cloth method – furoshiki. The wrapping (your intro) elicits a sense of excitement about what awaits discovery. As you untie the knots and wind back the cloth with your opening sentences, the anticipation builds until the gift of your podcast content is revealed. A rather fanciful way of describing how to get down to your podcast nuts and bolts? Yes, maybe. But not a bad way to end this rumination on the need for directness and clarity in your podcast production.
In The Doll World by Natalie Boero
In the Doll World is a podcast and YouTube channel co-created and hosted by Georgette Taylor, a doll enthusiast, business person, and co-founder of the Big Beautiful Doll Company, which in 1999 released the first ever line of plus size fashion dolls, Big Beautiful Dolls ™. For Georgette, the Big Beautiful Dolls were both personal and designed to “[Help] women to feel powerful in who they are, no matter their size” a passion and goal Georgette has taken with her into podcasting. The “doll world” encompasses a lot more than Barbie dolls, baby dolls, paper dolls, and collectable dolls. The doll world is a large and diverse global community of collectors, historians, creators, artists, and more. In deciding to focus the podcast on doll creators, Georgette was especially interested in featuring creators of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, men who create dolls, international doll creators, and creators whose dolls are made of unique materials including dolls made of recycled materials and sculpted dolls. Indeed, In the Doll World focuses on the stories of doll creators, but also the other creatives working in other areas of the doll-making world like accessory makers, hair stylists, fashion designers, wig makers, and doll painters, among others. On her website, Georgette suggests that listeners let “In The Doll World take you on a worldwide tour, as we search the globe for amazing stories from new and fascinating movers-and-shakers who are expanding and reshaping the doll world! These doll artists, companies, collectors, storytellers, re-painters, and accessory makers will become some of your new favorites!” As a long-time member of the doll community, and a long-time advocate for more diversity and diverse voices in that community, Georgette felt like a podcast was the perfect vehicle to share and deepen that commitment. Georgette was early to the podcasting game; in fact, maybe a little too early, starting at a time when podcasts had yet to truly take off. Her first podcast wasn’t really a podcast per se, but a show on blog talk radio in which she and her co-host, Audrey Bell-Kearney, talked about business and being women entrepreneurs. After doing over 200 episodes of the radio show, Georgette moved on to producing a show for an online TV network. It was through that experience that she initially had the idea of creating a show on dolls and doll creators for the TV network, but production issues delayed the show, and during that time, podcasting started to take off. Georgette decided to shift away from online TV and into podcasting, the primary medium for her work today. Once the popularity of podcasting started to pick up, Georgette knew that podcasting would be the perfect medium to explore and promote the doll world and doll creatives and their stories. 33
When In The Doll World started, Georgette had enough previous experience in media to know that it would be a good idea to release their first few episodes in a batch. Georgette explains, “They (listeners) don’t want to just see one show up there; it’s good to put up a few so listeners can really know if they are interested.” So, in October of 2019, the duo dropped their first four episodes. Initially, the co-hosts started with episodes featuring people they knew personally. Two of the earliest episodes of In The Doll World are Georgette and her then co-host Tammy interviewing each other about their experience with dolls. Eventually with the podcast, they felt more emboldened to contact more prominent doll creators. Having the podcast gave them a reason to contact some doll creators that they may have been hesitant in contacting before thereby reaching out to such icons and Mel Odom, Robert Tonner, Byron Lars, Stacey McBride-Irby, Gregg Ortiz and many other prominent doll folks on the show. Georgette always does her research before inviting someone on the show and in preparing to do interviews. Much of that research involves exploring the social media pages of potential guests to get a better sense of what is unique about their work and how they fit in with the show’s goal of highlighting creators who otherwise aren’t getting a lot of exposure in the doll community. Georgette emphasizes that one thing she doesn’t consider when researching potential guests is their follower counts. She says, “It is never about how many followers they have. We’ve done shows with bigger names, but we’ve also done shows with people who really did not have a lot of followers and we introduce them into the doll world; that’s part of our goal.” Georgette feels that among other things, it is this focus on lesser-known doll creators and creatives that really sets In The Doll World apart from other doll-focused podcasts. For Georgette, having been a doll creator herself, showcasing lesser-known and independent creators was of critical importance. As she explains, “There are a lot of small doll makers whose dolls will never be on a shelf in a store because of the price of production, you know the competition for shelf space, and a lot of other factors.” In The Doll World is really a place to give those creators a space to tell their stories and the stories of their dolls. Even with her media experience and knowledge of the doll world, Georgette was nervous in those early episodes. She recalls, “...we were nervous, we are totally nervous, even when I had a co-host, I was still very nervous and now that I am the host on my own, I get nervous because I want to make sure that people enjoy the show!” One thing that Georgette knew from the start was that she wanted In The Doll World to be a place where doll creators and creatives could tell their stories. For Georgette, that meant that the podcast format would be primarily interview-based. As she puts it, “I mostly do interviews and that’s basically what I always wanted to do. I just wanted to interview people and have them tell their doll journey.” In particular with creators, Georgette is interested in, “why they decided to create a doll. What were the challenges, what was their story behind their doll experience?” Hearing the stories of doll creators and creatives is also about hearing about their larger stories, including their childhoods. In doing her interviews, Georgette prioritizes understanding, “... what creating a doll meant for them [the creators] and to do that you need to know more of their 34
stories in general, not just as doll creators. You need to learn about people growing up, this is especially true of male creators. Podcasting is a great medium for this, and it especially was when people were more hesitant about being on video.” Almost immediately after dropping the first batch of episodes, Georgette got feedback that people enjoyed the podcast and wanted more. She primarily connects with her listeners and other podcasters through social media; in particular her In The Doll World Facebook page, which now has over one thousand followers, her newly updated website, and her In The Doll World YouTube channel. Georgette also meets listeners and promotes In The Doll World at doll community conferences and conventions, a number of which she has attended as a speaker on panels about dolls and diversity. While Georgette still views the podcast as a stand-alone product, she also feels that adding a visual component through her YouTube channel is important. “You know, people want to show their dolls and listeners want to see them, but the audio is still the main thing and you just get a different audience with audio,” she explains. The last year has seen many changes for Georgette and In The Doll World. For the first two years, of the podcast she worked with co-host and friend Tammy Fisher. But starting in December 2021, Georgette became the podcast’s solo host, and that change has definitely necessitated a number of adjustments. Among the most significant changes has been moving from weekly to bi-weekly episodes. Another big change in going solo was feeling like she didn’t have someone to bounce ideas and questions off of, but she turned to other podcasters and being part of a community has helped her weather the adjustment, and now she “feels more in control of the process.” Looking to the future, Georgette hopes to continue to showcase the diversity of dolls and doll creators to expand her role to be a media partner at doll events. As for her advice of would-be podcasters, Georgette suggests, “Ask for advice, but don’t let it paralyze you. No matter how much good advice you get, especially when it comes to technical advice, you just can’t let it paralyze you from just taking that first step.” This paralysis is something Georgette feels happens too often, especially for women interested in podcasting, and what she really wants people to know is that, “Sometimes people don’t feel their story is valid enough to share, but your story is always valid, and there is an audience out there for you!”
Website: inthedollworld.com Instagram: @inthedollworld Twitter: @inthedollworld Facebook: Inthedollworld Country: United States 35
Crushgasm by Kathy Barron
If you’re like 99.9% of the population, you’ve had a crush on someone at some point in your life (grade school, high school, or celebrity). Out of all of those crushes, how many of them did you actually tell your friends about or admit to the person you were crushing? Would you be willing to go on a podcast to talk about that crush? If so, Kendra Beltran, host of Crushgasm, would love to hear from you. A freelance writer for 10 years, Kendra is used to approaching people and asking the hard questions. She mostly interviewed musicians but enjoyed talking to all different types of creative people. In April 2021, she was looking for another outlet, besides blogging, to interact with and learn about other people. She asked herself “What can I do? What do we all have in common? We’ve all liked somebody in our life. We’ve all had a crush whether it be on someone fictional or in middle school,” Kendra explains. She first went through her Rolodex of people she already knew and was comfortable talking with; Cos players, musicians, people she grew up with. But soon that well ran dry and she needed to venture out into the world of people she didn’t know. For Kendra, it was nerve wracking at first but has since gotten used to asking people to be on the show. “Now I go through different sites or reach out to musicians if I like them, or just if I like what they are doing and other podcasters…So if I like someone on Instagram, and I like what they are doing, I’ll reach out and see,” she adds. Most of her guests are men, surprisingly enough, but Kendra tries to balance it out so everyone is represented. For her first episode, Kendra made her husband be the guest because if it didn’t go well she wouldn’t need to publish it, and there wouldn’t be an obligation to anyone. She had her husband talk about his first crush who Kendra knew but hadn’t heard the backstory. “So that was fun. He was a little nervous, too, because it’s like talking to your significant other about someone else you like…a little weird. So it was a little awkward but after we got the kinks out it was fine,” Kendra says. The weekly episodes started out as being 15-20 minutes in length but have evolved into an hour since Kendra has learned to stretch out the conversation. She’s also more comfortable talking with guests and going off script more than usual. Although Kendra created a new podcast, she continues to blog alongside her show to tie the topic and/or theme together. She doesn’t like to repeat a theme because every week she writes two blogs (to keep her inner writer happy), introduces the theme of the week on Mondays, and posts a Top 10 list around that theme on Thursdays. She keeps many a spreadsheet; a master list of crush categories in case the guest doesn’t have a crush in mind and a list of topics she’s already covered. Kendra doesn’t shy away from any topic as long as it isn’t creepy. “No, don’t come at me with anything, too, out there where I’m like, okay, we’re gonna have to call the police after the crushes. No stalkers allowed,” she quips. Crushgasm does have a topic that 37
people seem to pick every twelve episodes that is about a sexual awakening crush. According to Kendra, this can get a little steamy at times because it’s about a crush that “helped you feel things for the first time.” When asked what challenges she faces as a woman in podcasting, Kendra doesn’t mince words. “I think just being a woman, being a black woman and being recognized. You have so many celebrities coming out with podcasts nowadays. Like the Boy Meets World cast is putting out one, and they’re just going to rewatch the show, and it’s like, they’re not giving anything new to the world,” she states. It’s been difficult for Kendra especially since the pandemic when everyone started a podcast (including herself) to be seen, get support, and get her voice out there. “They think it all is just their silly hobby, but no, I really do like giving these conversations and having people in this inclusivity where you look at my Instagram and my guests aren’t just straight white males,” she adds. Of her episodes, Kendra’s favorite is one she produced when she first started. Drag performer and Cos player, D’Manda Martini (EP 3), shared their random Disney crush, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, but only when they’re the Beast right at the end when they transformed. Kendra explains why this episode continues to be her favorite, “It was the third one I ever recorded, and I had only known D’Manda through email because I write for a Cosplay site…and it was really fun.” This interview was a turning point for Kendra because it helped her realize that she could talk to people she didn’t know with ease and confidence. In her year of podcasting, not much has shocked Kendra except for the amount of crushes on anime characters. “All of my guests who have picked anime have been Black females and males. I know nothing of anime, so I’m always having to dive into that world and kind of research who these characters are. So I’ve just found that interesting,” Kendra says. A lot of the Black community are involved in Cosplay because they connect to the anime character’s stories of struggle. Kendra states, “And I also remember in the 70s like Kung Fu movies were also big. So I think there’s so many tie-ins, culturally, like up the ladder to get to that point.” Representation matters for Kendra. She grew up in the 90s and loved watching shows like Boy Meets World and Full House. But her favorite show was Roseanne because everyone talked about issues around representation.. “I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. Roseanne was a show that I was like, finally, a family like ours. They’re struggling all the time with the money and all this stuff,” she adds. Kendra also loves a good TV theme song and at times that’s all it takes to get her interested in a show. Burnout has definitely affected Kendra and there have been moments where she has contemplated quitting Crushgasm. Her process of having many episodes in the “bank” can feel a bit overwhelming when it comes to editing. “You see them kind of looming over you, that burnout can be like, oh, maybe I should just quit. But then you’re like, but I love doing it so much. I love the conversations that I’ve had and putting out there and giving these people a platform to also talk about what they’re doing creatively,” Kendra admits. She usually gets on with it but is considering outsourcing when her editing bank is full again. 38
Another thing that keeps Kendra and Crushgasm alive is getting positive listener feedback. She loves when she hears that listeners can connect with the guest’s crush because it’s their crush, too. “One that I got, she was a mom, and she’s like, ‘I love that it fits (she has episodes 20-30 minutes long). I could just listen to them quick in between doing this and that with the kids. And they’re just always enjoyable and fun.’ It’s not daunting like some podcasts can bewith the real world. We can kind of get into like a fantasy land of our crushes,” Kendra says. She believes that when people share their crushes others can feel okay feeling that crush as well, especially as we get older. Kendra loves interviewing and sharing people’s stories. Creating a connection with her guests has been the most rewarding. She believes that everyone has a story to share, and that’s why she likes writing so much. Kendra is grateful that she’s able to put people of all shapes, sizes, and orientations on a platform.”That was my number one goal, and on Thursdays is when I post my top 10 (on my Instagram) and like my little three squares are like complete and I love just going down all my guests and seeing how different they are and all the different types of crushes,” she adds. The most impactful story for her is the episode with Black gay preacher Benjamin Carlton (EP 40). Benjamin shares his story of being in the closet for a very long time and his 90s crush, Tyson Beckford. “He just talked about finding his tribe in the church community, even though he came out as gay. The most impactful part was when he said that parents need to be more accepting when their kids come out to them. Basically, no matter what it is, accept them with love first, don’t question,” Kendra states. As far as how she would like the future to look for women podcasters, Kendra just wants to be seen the same as all those white guys who are doing the same exact thing women are doing. She explains, “I wish we could just be us. We didn’t have to say, oh, we’re women in podcasting. I hope we can broaden it and just own the whole space.” Kendra wants everyone to know that when it comes to crushes, we all have one. She feels that’s our biggest connection. When asked if she had a crush right now, Kendra smirked and said “I always have a crush. I do outgrow them, but I don’t get rid of them completely. I think there’s a part of my heart that I’ll always have them in a little compact.” So if you’re looking to pour your heart out about a crush you just can’t let go, Kendra would love to hear all about it.
Website: anchor.fm/crushgasm Instagram: @crushgasmpodcast Facebook: Crushgasm Twitter: @crushgasmpod Country: United States
How Podcas by Crystal Warren
Every podcaster has their own creative process with how they get their inspiration and how they bring it all together before hitting publish. Find your Sun, Moon, and Rising sign below to learn more about your process! ARIES - The creative process for this sign is more casual - they can wing it and still be successful because they know they can figure things out on the fly. Why waste time planning ahead? What drag. They’d rather hit the ground running. They know the theme of their podcast, they know which topics they want to talk about, and most importantly they know they’re a badass – that’s enough to make magic happen, once they finally sit down to record that is. TAURUS - Slow and steady is the way to go for this sign. They gather inspiration and feel into what they want their show to sound like and look like from the comforts of their bed. These folks bring a sense of integrity to everything they do with their methodical approach. It may be a slow road with lots of naps in between, but once they hit record, they’ll make sure it’s done the right way, no matter how long it takes to bring their vision to life. GEMINI - These folks have a list of guests and topics already planned out with no real structure to the timeline. They might get bits done here and there, then circle back around to sew it all back together for a complete season. With their short attention span, you can be sure there are a lot of breaks when recording solo, which is often why they’ll have a guest or co-host, so the dynamic conversation can keep them interested enough to finish recording all the way through. CANCER - This sign takes its time and only when they feel up to it, so their process looks like retreating into their shell to wait for the mood and inspiration to strike, or for when the mom duties can be set aside. Ebbing and flowing with their emotional nature is the only way to go with this Moon ruled sign. Feeling into what and when they want things to get done, rather than forcing it to come together based on others expectations. LEO - Because it’s something they’re passionate about, they’ll get the recording done as soon as the inspiration hits. Their passion knows no bounds. Where they may get caught up in the creative process though is with the overall look and feel of it all. Fine tuning everything with their touch of flair from the graphics to the sound bites to the fire content they recorded. Anything they do is an extension of their “personal brand,” and must be on POINT before hitting publish. VIRGO - This sign is super particular so is likely to finish their production in an organized and streamlined fashion - having sent out invites to their guests weeks ago paired with questions and ideas for the episode. The only thing is they spend a lot of time in post-production perfecting the end result, it’s a wonder they even published it to begin with! Always striving for a better version, they may even re-re40 cord some parts they didn’t like during the editing process.
sters Create Don’t know your sun sign? Enter your birth information at Astro.com and check back to read yours! Contact Crystal Warren for Astrology Consultations, questions, or feedback. She loves hearing how these resonate with you, so be sure to tag her @insightfullycrystal on IG! LIBRA - This air sign’s process is to put things off because too many decisions stresses them out when they’re always looking at things from both sides. Recording last minute gives them the pressure to bust it out quickly and not overthink. However, when it comes to the final product, they care about the overall aesthetic and message, and want to do it justice, so they may ask a friend to check it out before hitting publish. SCORPIO - This sign is known for it’s intensity because of how fiercely passionate it is, so when it comes to their creative process think of planning and prepping mixed with hardcore stretches of going down the rabbit hole crammed into concentrated amounts of time - like weekend bingers or all nighters to get the job done. Their intensity brings the amount of pressure it takes to create a diamond of a podcast show (or magazine) happen - and that’s magic folks. SAGITTARIUS - Wait, it’s already that time to record? This sign forgot and double booked a trip during the time they blocked out for the pod - woops! Luckily, this sign is spontaneous and can pivot on a whim. They’ll find some quiet spots on their vacation, and let their trip inspire even wiser things for them to say for their show. Better yet - they may decide to take the audience with them on their trip and release an episode or 2 throughout their stay. CAPRICORN - This sign has a “been there/done that” flair about them, so they likely had all their ducks in a row as of Q4 last year because this isn’t their first rodeo. They bring a sense of professionalism with how they conduct the entire process. They have a plan for their plan paired with a ‘let’s get to work” attitude that helps them tackle the mountain of tasks ahead, in order to create a complete and stellar season with the standards fit for a Fortune 500 CEO. AQUARIUS - This sign has a general vision and timeline of when things need to get done, but no clear plan. Their inspiration likely comes when they’re busy doing unrelated things, so their plan and show notes are often voice memos they sent themselves earlier, reminding them of what they wanted to talk about when they did sit down to record. They can’t control when it will strike, but they can take notes and plan to record later when they have all the pieces.
PISCES - This sign daydreams during the day, and when everyone else is asleep, lights a candle and quietly works on their masterpiece of a podcast in solitude, distraction free. Coming and going each day, until the vision is a reality, like a painting coming to life on canvas. They might not remember everything they want to say in the moment, so they likely have some visual cues lying around to remind them of 41 where to flow next with their stream of thoughts.
Podcasting Beyond The Age of Fifty by Sandy Lowres
As both a podcast host and a podcast lover, for many years I felt that one group was missing from the podcast universe: women beyond the age of 50. As we all know, living in the time of a pandemic came with many pros and cons. On the bright side, it opened the doors for some unforeseen opportunities. Technology became Queen as we all needed to communicate in new ways and, for many of us, navigate working from home for the first time. The fast-tracked adoption of new technology and apps was a necessity, but an added benefit of newfound skills meant the number of podcasts being created has steadily increased since 2020. In a sea of podcasts, it’s great to see the rise of female podcast hosts and more surprising, the age defying women of the podcast world beyond the age of 50. In 2022, many women over 50 are creating podcasts and talking about the issues that speak directly to our lives. Issues such as perimenopause, menopause, political issues, middle age health, relationships, midlife dating, leadership, and navigating careers and business as we age. As a podcaster over the age of 50 myself, I was delighted earlier this year to see my podcast, The Good Girl Confessional, listed as one of the top five podcasts for older feminists by a media outlet in Australia. I was in fine company given the other podcasts listed had impressive followings, including one hosted by the former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard – A Podcast of One’s Own. My humble podcast was the only grassroots poddy amongst them. Today there are over 2 million podcasts available online, but don’t let that number deter you from joining in on the fun! According to Podcast Insights , 76% of US households and a whopping 91% of Australian households are aware of podcasts. That’s a lot of potential listeners! When I launched my podcast in 2019 at the age of 50, I really had no idea where to start, but I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and a desire to learn. I researched everything I could about starting a podcast via the internet, and I was lucky enough to have help from my partner who, as a musician, had recording equipment. I’ve learned a lot since those early days! For example, you don’t need fancy equipment or a big budget to start a podcast. I listened to as many female podcasters as I could and when I launched the podcast, I collaborated with lots of female guests, including fellow podcast hosts like Kathy Barron! Creating a podcast doesn’t require expensive equipment or even a huge technology IQ. Something many other women have discovered. Susan Jarvis, who runs her company, The Spicy Boudoir, was 51 years old when she launched her podcast The Maven’s Private Diaries. Through sharing stories, knowledge, and personal experiences, Susan leads her listeners on an informative, evocative, and sometimes hilarious journey towards embracing sexuality and mortality. With no prior experience, Susan launched the podcast in 2019 and found it a liberating journey. Now 55, Susan muses, “My age never crossed my mind. In fact, it inspired me because I wanted to be the older woman talking openly about sex, death, and disability. I was aware that older women have been, in many cultures, revered and held with great respect. Some are called crones, harridan, hag, none of these terms 43
appealed to me as they did not match my vision of who I was becoming: a sexy, powerful, and wise woman. I was aware of the word ‘Maven’ and when I determined its meaning, I knew it was the right moniker for me!” By aligning her podcast to her business interests, Susan can share her expertise, but also to interview guests that resonate with her listeners. For Jo Pybus, podcasts became a part of her relaxation time and she loved that there were so many topics and genres available to listen to. Jo, a self-proclaimed late-onset feminist, came up with the idea for Alex the Seal, a fun podcast taking a nostalgic look at the music that “got us hooked up, knocked up, and broken up.” Season one was launched earlier this year, and in creating the podcast, Jo has learned to be host, producer, editor, and marketer of the podcast. As her co-host, I may be biased, but I have marveled at how quickly Jo adopted all these new skills. “The learning curve was huge, but not insurmountable,” explains Jo, “I decided I really wanted to do the recording, editing, and publishing myself and having Sandy as a co-host, I got great advice and was pointed in the right direction. Alex the Seal is about music, meaning, understanding licensing, and wanting to support artists was a top priority, so I had to come up with a way for our audience to engage with the songs we are talking about without actually broadcasting them and still giving back to the industry. It has all worked out well, and I’m relishing the challenge.” So, what motivated Jo to launch a podcast in her 50’s? “In my late 40s, podcasts became a big part of ‘me-time’. When I started writing for online media in my late-40s I knew I loved to entertain. A combo of being interviewed on a few podcasts and listening to all my old 80s hits when locked-down with the Covid-19 pandemic, seeded the idea for Alex the Seal. So, at 55, with the wisdom of age and no longer bound by giving a hoot about what others thought, I embraced the idea, and the rest is history!” Of course, launching a podcast does require a measure of dedication and building a following can take time and patience. In fact, the average podcast only lasts for seven episodes, possibly because it can be time consuming. Having a clear idea of a podcast purpose can really help with longevity. For Jules Brooke, launching her podcast She’s The Boss Chats in 2020, came out of a burning desire to showcase women-identified business owners and along the way she discovered that she loved interviewing. In fact, she now considers it one of her superpowers. “When I started interviewing female founders about their careers and entrepreneurial journeys for my podcast, I thought I would start with twelve women. Two hundred interviews later, I am still continually surprised and delighted by the stories my guests share with me. They are so inspirational!” Launching at the start of Covid-19 restrictions came with some obstacles but Jules wasn’t afraid to ask for help. “I was lucky because we were in lockdown and firstly my partner, Dave Stokes, who produces audio books, and then my 18-year-old son offered to produce the podcast for me. Podcasting is so much fun!” I’m thrilled to say that in 2022, a quick Google search of women over 50 podcasts will highlight so many women who are leading the charge and creating some fantastic podcasts across many genres who hail from all across the world! Informative, conversational, or just purely entertaining, there is a podcast out there for everyone! My advice for those contemplating their own podcast is simply do it! You will learn new skills and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way. 44
Miss Conduct by Punam Saxena
Indians in podcasting, I thought, were an anomaly. Aren’t they busy being doctors, lawyers, or engineers? Yes, I stereotype my own people. But, in fairness, most of my family members are professionals in one of those fields. So, it always amazes me when I meet fellow Indian women creatives who are using their voice for change, providing crucial information, and creating paradigm shifts. And especially women podcasters because it’s a testament to us using our voices, sharing our stories, and feeling confident about ourselves in a heavily male-dominated world. I was honored to meet the creative voices, friends, and co-hosts behind Miss Conduct, Ragavi Ramesh, a privacy technology lawyer, and Nisha Chandrasekaran, a PR professional. These lifelong friends grew up in Dubai and then, unbeknownst to the other, moved to the same South Indian city with their families years later where they reconnected and renewed their friendship. Complementing each other’s strengths, their podcast captures the perfect combination of each of their zests for learning and researching about Indian women criminals. These ladies are the epitome of feminists. Miss Conduct is a true crime podcast that discusses the criminal cases and unethical activities of women, especially Indian women. Are there many Indian women criminals, thieves, and outlaws? Shockingly, at least to me who has spent much time in the country, yes. There are plenty and some who are well-known names in the Indian community and beyond. How does one decide to create a podcast on a topic that doesn’t align with their professions? I guess this is where the creative piece comes in. According to these ladies, one night during a conversation in 2019 realizing that they had no other hobbies to discuss and were looking for an exciting topic, Ragavi asked Nisha why there weren’t more Indian women in jail. Hmmmm, they both thought. Nisha asks, after some discussion, “Are women not committing crimes or are they so good at their crimes that they aren’t getting caught?” Several months later after talks and research to determine how many Indian women criminals they could actually research and speak about, they decided they would pursue this venture but were contemplating which medium was the best to share their newly found passion. YouTube? A blog? They finally settled on starting a podcast. After identifying almost fifty women Miss Conducts, they launched their first episode in June 2021 with the help of IVM Podcast Network, a podcast network that provides support to Indian podcasters. Ragavi and Nisha needed to ensure the women they highlight are relatable in some capacity: social status, family “values”, to draw out compassion and empathy. Connection to these women is the key to keeping the audience engaged and getting them to return to hear the next escapade of some woman whose greed exceeded the law. 47
While many of these women killed people, the women that Ragavi and Nisha discuss are not all murderers, thank goodness. They vary their criminal stories to con artists, government frauds, and sex traffickers to name a few. Much better, right?! They learned that in order to have a credible true crime podcast, their information must be accurate, which can be difficult to access, especially in a country like India where documentation can be sparse and if it is documented, it may be destroyed. Like true researchers, Ragavi and Nisha are adamant the information can be verified and happily provide all essential references to their audience. But they have to be cautious and purposeful. With the political turmoil in India and safety of women uncertain, they are discriminant about the women they choose to highlight. Many are deceased or even prominent in Indian mythology or someone whose story is so appealing that it must be shared. Yet, each of these women has a compelling reason, at least in their minds, to commit these crimes. Did you know that Indira Gandhi, the first female Prime Minister of India, was found guilty of electoral malpractice? She was convicted, stripped of her parliamentary seat, unseated as Prime Minister, and barred from holding office for another six years. So, what did she do? In retaliation, she locked down the entire country for two years and passed an amendment to the brand-new Constitution which was to play favoritism to one political party. Unfortunately, for her, the high courts struck her appeals down both times. This is the first Prime Minister of India! Or that Cyanide Mallika is the first convicted woman serial killer in India who murdered at least six people? She was a poorer woman who had high aspirations to live a more lavish and elaborate lifestyle. She would prey on elderly women who were in distress and came to the temple to find solace and peace. Cyanide Mallika, whose real name was K.D. Kempamma, would befriend them, offer to do a “pooja” (religious ceremony) at a remote temple away from the city to rid them of the troubles and ask that they wear their most expensive clothing and jewelry. And then offered them “holy water” laced with cyanide. And that was that. Whew, this lady is scary! Or that Sarala Behn, born Catherine Mary Hellman, a Brit, was jailed for speaking out against the British as India fought for their independence? She was a follower of Mohandas Gandhi, the father of India and the leader of India’s independence in 1947. Gandhi gave Mary her Hindu name as she began to spend more time in his ashram, a religious
retreat, and became a vocal advocate for the independence of India by demanding the British leave a country who could stand on their own. The problem was that she was too outspoken which irritated the Brits so much that they jailed her to keep her quiet. Ha! If only that worked! Was she a criminal in India? Only to the British who saw her as a hindrance to keeping their occupation of India. So, why do a true crime podcast about women in India? For Ragavi and Nisha, it is the excitement and joy of learning about these women, their impact on the country, and what has given them the agency to commit their crimes. Gathering information, verifying its accuracy is an arduous process as you can imagine, and setting a release date can take anywhere from one week to four months to release an episode depending on the criminal and the availability of resources. Currently finishing their third season, the ladies of Miss Conduct have a passion that has opened new avenues for them to embrace the history of their country while enamoring their audience with these stories. Authenticity and accuracy are paramount for Miss Conduct. Ragavi, the lawyer, identifies the criminal and then they both begin their research to create an outline that will ultimately lead to their semi-rehearsed/semi-off-the-cuff episodes that are filled with humor and often unsettling details of their criminal. Humor is necessary to keep the sanity in what could easily be a morbid, stoic product. Their episodes do a deep dive into these women’s lives, what their childhood was like, their mindset, how they got started, and ultimately how their belief that they are invincible led to their demise. Maybe not physically, but professionally and socially. When I asked them who they admire, who they look to for guidance and inspiration, Nisha was quick to share that it is her mom and dad, Harry Potter (not JK Rowling), and the Behind the Bastards podcast host, Robert Evans. In fact, Robert Evans would be her dream interview. Ragavi shared that Tina Fey is hers. Tina’s quick wit, authentic, hilarious approach to the world is exactly what Ragavi is hoping to emulate. She also happens to be Ragavi’s dream guest. Tina, if you are reading, Ragavi is happy to chat with you! Their advice to their fellow podcasters is thought-provoking and poignant. Ragavi relays that many people, especially women, feel their idea isn’t worth sharing or that it’s not important, yet it is vital for others to hear our stories because you never know who may need to hear your advice, experience, or journey. Every niche, every idea, and everyone has an audience. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Instagram: @missconductpod Country: India 49
How To Get Better SEO For Your Podcast by Elikqitie
The one priority at the top of every podcaster’s mind is to figure out how to get more listeners to their show. Without listeners, your message isn’t getting in front of other people. While putting your information about your podcast episode on social media is good, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve completed these digital marketing steps to ensure you’ve got the basics down to increase your SEO for your podcast. But first, let’s get down to the basics; what is SEO? What is SEO? SEO is an acronym that represents Search Engine Optimization. In a nutshell, SEO is the ability of a person who is searching on Google, YouTube, or another search engine to find your platform, website, or business. In this case, we will focus on how someone else can find your podcast. While there are many facets to creating fantastic SEO, the first place you want to start is to have your own domain name and your website. Why? Google downranks any podcasts that don’t have their own website. If you want to find more listeners, you’ll want to make sure that your podcast has a website. You don’t have to spend a considerable sum for a website either - and you don’t have to use WordPress if you have a podcast - that’s a big misnomer. You can easily make a well-designed and simple website on Weebly, Wix, or another DIY website design site. My podcast website for Travel Gluten-Free podcast was created on Weebly several years ago. I modify it once or twice a year to keep it updated. Secondly, you’ll want your own domain because if you use the website’s domain, you’re sending all your SEO to the website creators and not your podcast! So make the $15 investment and purchase your own domain name. My favorite domain space to purchase a domain is Gandi.net. I love this site because it’s easy to use, they don’t try to sell you a bunch of stuff you don’t need, and they are reasonably priced. Adding Keywords to Your Podcast Website Content When you’re building your podcast website content, remember to add keywords to your titles, subtitles, and the body of your website content. You can use Google Trends to find keywords related to your podcast. Make sure to add keywords to your website content so online internet searchers will come across your website content. 51
Create a Blog for Your Podcast Blogs are a wonderful way to gain traction for your podcast website! And creating blogs is an easy step when you’re a podcaster. You can easily turn your show notes into a longer format for your blog post. Or, in reverse, create your blog first, then take your blog and shorten that content into your show notes. Voila! You’ve just repurposed your podcast episode into a blog and show notes! To be clear, you don’t have to turn every episode into a blog. You can choose the episodes you feel are the best fit for your blog, check your stats to see which episodes ranked the most listened to, or if you publish a podcast that has both interviews and solo episodes, you can make blogs from your solo episodes only. When creating a blog post, make sure to add links to other websites. Google sees this action as playing nice in the sandbox and will boost your blog if you cross-link to other websites. This can give you a huge advantage when you podcast swap with another podcaster! This brings me to my next SEO boost - podcast swap with another podcaster! Podcast Swapping Podcast swapping is an art - you don’t want to podcast swap with any podcaster that comes along because their audience may not be a good fit for your message. Instead, vet podcasters who want to swap with you, exchange ideas and find out if the other podcaster promotes their podcast. If they do, your podcast will get more traction; you’ll most likely see a bump in listenership and get more downloads to your podcast. In addition, if you want to see who is being interviewed in different podcasts, you can place a name in the search bar of your favorite podcast player. Every podcast that mentions their name will show up, and you can see what other podcasts they have been a guest on. For example, I recently met the producer of The Beach Speaks podcast at PodFest podcasting conference. When we met, we immediately clicked! She has a beach podcast, and I have a travel podcast as well. So we talked and agreed on a podswap to talk about our favorite beaches to travel to on vacation. This makes sense because both of our podcasts are about travel. Also, even though she isn’t gluten-free, travel destinations are a part of what I podcast about, so our audience has a similar thread with a love of travel. Create Show Notes That Boost Your SEO I can’t tell you how many podcasters I’ve talked to that want more downloads but either only write a paragraph of show notes or don’t write any show notes. Suppose you’re not writing show notes, or you aren’t taking advantage of the 4,000 characters to increase your visibility on all the podcast players. In that case, you’re missing out on a huge SEO boost! Writing podcast show notes with keywords is one of the best ways to boost your podcast SEO on podcast players or on Google and other internet search engines. When you create great show notes with keywords, then more podcast listeners will find your show and hit the follow or subscribe button. If you’re confused about best practices for writing show notes, here is a free ebook that will walk you through step-by-step how to write professional show notes for your podcast. 52
There are so many different steps to utilizing SEO for your podcast that if you achieve these steps and build up your content for your podcast, you’ll see steady, organic growth in your podcast listeners. In the process of creating organic content for the past four+ years for my podcast, I’m now offered a regular paid gig writing blogs with backlinks to other travel companies. While it doesn’t make a ton of money, it definitely covers most of the cost of my podcast production, and the company is super easy to work with as well!
Goodpods Is Good For Podcasters by Tina Jaramillo
As podcasters we spend a lot of time creating our product. And it’s not just researching topics and booking guests. There are audio edits, social media posts, promotions, marketing, equipment checks, website upkeeps, merchandising, advertising, promo reels, show notes, and much more. And—we are often left wondering: is anybody listening? The elusive download numbers often make it hard to know how many true listeners we have. And for the most part, industry insiders point to Apple Charts as a marker of success. Landing on the Apple Podcasts Top Charts or the New and Noteworthy list is supposed to be the holy grail for a new podcaster. And lately, it seems like unless you’re somewhat famous to begin with, it’s hard to make an appearance let alone inch up on the Apple Charts. Enter Goodpods. Goodpods is not just another podcast app—it’s so much more than that—especially for podcasters. Think of Goodpods as a way to bring a community of podcasters and podcast listeners together to talk about shows and topics that matter to them and to share and recommend podcasts. Essentially, the idea seems to be that the more folks can engage with shows and chat with their friends about the shows they love, the more they’ll want to keep listening to podcasts and discovering new shows to listen to. Goodpods offers a fun, interactive space for listeners to engage with podcasts and podcasters. So, how do you get started with Goodpods? Well, first you need to claim your podcast. After claiming your show as a podcaster, you can interact directly with your listeners. Some ways to connect are by creating posts. You can write a post about a recent episode drop—and it can be as simple as “Check out our latest episode!” And even if you don’t make a post, if a listener subscribes, they’ll be notified whenever your episode airs. Goodpods also allows listeners to discover a range of shows through their awesome feeds feature. The “Everyone” feed shows what everyone is listening to on Goodpods at that time—so if someone is checking out your awesome podcast, it shows in the feed, and it could just prompt someone to click on that episode offering some great exposure you may not otherwise have. Another thing I love about Goodpods, is that podcasters can actually see what their friends have listened to via the “Following” feed, which has led me to some shows that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. 54
Goodpods also sorts things not only by category, but by interests, so it offers multiple ways for your show to get in front of new listeners—which is something all podcasters want. And Goodpods allows listeners to rate and comment on not only your show, but individual episodes of your show as well. And with the ability to chat with podcast hosts, Goodpods brings your podcast to your audience in ways that other platforms can’t. And if you use the “Group” feature, you can create a group for your listeners where they can chat about your latest episodes. Another way to use the “Group” feature is to join with some other podcasters to cross promote and support one another by building momentum for one another. By far one of the best things about Goodpods is that even indie podcasters have an opportunity to be featured on their top chart lists—right next to big name podcasters. This exposure is yet another way to get your podcast in front of new listeners. You can go to the “Discover” tab to find the Top 100 shows list along with Top 100 by category. But there’s an option to filter by “indie” pods, so again, this platform doesn’t just cater to the big name podcasters. Each week, indie podcasters get an opportunity to move up the indie charts. So if you’re looking for an app to help you engage more authentically with your audience, offer a fun social aspect, and support indie pods, then sign up for Goodpods today!
The Now What Pod by Kathy Barron
Everyone needs someone to talk to when they are going through a difficult and traumatic experience in their lives. Long time friends Jen Hoffmeister and Tesha Gibbon have supported each other during their times of grief. Hosts of The Now What Pod, the two women decided to share their stories and those of other women as a way to heal and process grief, trauma, and to share what comes next. The hosts started their podcast by sharing their own traumatic experiences and how the podcast became a lifeline for both of them. “The theme of our show is very personal and that’s kind of how things came about because we both went through really traumatic experiences within a year of one another,” Jen explains. Jen and Tesha would meet on a weekly basis while Tesha was going through her cancer diagnosis and treatment. Jen mentioned to her that she should share a blog. She adds, “cause she had all this good info and stuff, and she was really getting into minimalism, and we were both really overwhelmed mothers. We both listened to podcasts, but it was like, we should just do a podcast.” About five months after that discussion, Jen’s husband died in a work site accident, and then the pandemic happened. Although things were at a standstill, Jen wanted to revisit the podcast idea. “And then that’s when I think it has to be something about trauma and healing, what happens after you’ve gone through something really bad,” Jen says. The hosts decided they wanted to have different people on the show that would be open to sharing their stories of trauma and what came next for them. Jen and Tesha thought it only felt right to be raw and real to their listeners about their stories since they would be asking their guests to do the same thing. In the show’s first episode, Tesha shared her story of being diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer, her recovery process, and subsequent PTSD. Jen followed in episode two by sharing her story of traumatic loss and grief that she and her two young children were experiencing. She talked about describing herself as a single parent vs a solo parent and what that means for her. Hearing people’s stories helps them with their own healing process and at times Tesha, being a bit of an empath, “takes on those big emotions that people talk about on their show.” The hosts invite their guests to share their story in whatever way feels right for them. Many people haven’t told their story from start to finish, so there are definitely raw emotions being felt by the guest and the hosts. 59
“For me, it was like kindred spirits, like finding other people that have gone through shit, you know? Our own stories and our own traumas are extremely different, but we found a lot of connection and community with each other because of the things we had been through, regardless that they’re different,” Jen says. One of the common threads that Jen and Tesha found with their guests is that people have no idea how to support someone who is going through a difficult time. Tesha adds, “Another goal of the show is we want people who are going through stuff to listen, to find that sense of community, but also for the people who are like that, that secondary and tertiary people to maybe learn a little bit of how to be a better support person.” Although Jen and Tesha want their guests to share their stories, they also want to hear about the “after effects.” Jen explains, “what really got us on that is Tesha’s story is a classic case because she got the all clear and that’s when everybody was like ‘oh, you’re good, she doesn’t need support. She’s healthy, she’s gonna live.’ And that’s kind of when things fell apart. You just never know what someone else is dealing with and what someone’s going through.” For the hosts, The Now What Pod has definitely evolved since starting it in April 2021. They are getting more tech savvy and giving themselves the breaks they deserve and need. “We went 35 weeks straight when we first started, and we were doing pre-interviews, and then doing interviews, and they were often running longer than we anticipated. We’re parents and really found that we were burning ourselves out,” Tesha explains. They have gotten smarter with scheduling and making sure they don’t take on too much. Jen and Tesha know that a lot of podcasters struggle with burn out, run out of steam, and then fall off the charts. They don’t want that to happen to them so when they do take breaks, the hosts make sure previous episodes are released to maintain their momentum. They want to see other women get into podcasting and recommend they not get hung up on the technical stuff. It’s not an all or nothing thing, and women don’t need to have it all figured out beforehand. If women have something to say or share, they encourage them to put it out there because someone will be listening that needs to hear their voice. One thing that Tesha had wanted to get back into was reading. She was an avid reader before having children and missed having that for herself. So in the summer of ‘21, Jen and Tesha started a virtual book club. So far they have invited four authors to the club to speak about their book. “We wanted to build a bit of a community so we thought well maybe if we do this virtual
book club then our listeners can read along with us,” Jen says. Their mission for the book club is to focus on female authors with diverse voices and create a community of friends. An episode that was very impactful for Jen and Tesha was back in October 2021 when the theme for the month was focused on body acceptance. In episode 31, Jess Sims, a radical self-acceptance, and body neutrality advocate, came on to their show to share her story of diet culture and her body acceptance journey. “…like just personally going through my own like body acceptance journey and all of that, I just really appreciated her point of view and it was just a really fun conversation,” Jen says. The hosts were empowered by Jess’s story and mentioned there are other stories that have been just as impactful. Tesha adds, “We interviewed a woman just the other day, I’m going to botch the quote but part of the quote was she was jut like, I can take this breath. I can take this moment. Like, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know that I’m going to get through the rest of my life. She had lost a son to suicide, but she’s like, but I can take this breath and I can take this moment.” Jen and Tesha don’t always look for those happy, tied up in a bow endings but after having real conversations, they feel like they’ve know their guests forever and would consider them a friend. The connection is that deep and sincere. When asked what challenges they face as women podcasters, Jen mentioned getting people to find The Now What Pod when they search the internet. Her goal is to have their podcast be the first to pop up so they can grow their audience. She explains, “That’s the hardest thing, I think, figuring out the right way to reach more people. We’ll release an episode, and we think it’s amazing and we’re like, why aren’t they listening to this one?” The two balance each other out as Tesha is more of the planner and Jen is more like jump in and ask questions later. Tesha feels that Jen’s personality benefited their podcast because she pushed Tesha to move forward with the show. “We had enough, we had a name, we had a mission. We knew what types of stories we wanted to tell, and we just started recording,” Tesha explains. The most rewarding aspect of The Now What Pod is the connections they make with the people they meet. Being able to put a message out there and fight any stigmas about the topic they are talking about makes Jen and Tesha feel like they are doing something good. Hearing from listeners about how episodes have touched their lives and not feeling alone has the most impact on the hosts. It’s validation that they are on the right path and accomplishing what they set out to do with the podcast.
Website: nowwhatpod.com Instagram: @thenowwhatpod Twitter: @thenowwhatpod Facebook: thenowwhatpod Country: Canada
How To Be by Kathy Barron
In 2017, Suswati Basu, host of How To Be, was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition. As someone who was fairly outgoing, very active and fit prior to the diagnosis, adjusting to this new way of life was difficult, and Suswati became more and more introverted as a result. Eventually, she stopped going out all together and became a bit of a hermit. Like many of us, she was also petrified of speaking but instead of avoiding it, she flipped it on its head and started podcasting as a way of aversion therapy. Through this process, she became confident speaking to a large audience and created a podcast that has helped others. “…Actually I found my voice, I found myself through it. I realized I spent so long just being quiet and trying to hide and be invisible,” Suswati says. Since starting How to Be in 2020, she has enjoyed learning and understanding the many people she has talked to. The podcast is about improving mental health and well being, as well as really understanding social change through reading books and interviewing the authors. It’s also about talking to the wider community about a given subject. One topic that Suswati talked about was resilience. As she was reading and talking about the topic, she gained an understanding of how to become resilient because she didn’t learn those skills as a child. Not only does she learn from the authors (and reading the books), her community of listeners and followers also teach her a great deal. She asks them “…so what’s your thoughts on how you become resilient and what kind of tips can you give other people?” Starting these conversations has snowballed for Suswati and become so much more than she imagined. In addition to interviewing her guests, Suswati reads 2-3 books for the podcast per week. When asked if she became a speed reader because of all the books she wanted to read, she explained without blinking an eye, “No. That’s the one lucky thing I have which is I can read a book a day. But it’s basically my brain given the type of jobs I used to do. I had to analyze huge amounts of data very quickly.” How can her brain read such large amounts of data? “Basically, I can read the middle of a page and it will fill in the blanks around it. The brain is able to sort of create patterns, which is quite incredible,” Suswati explains. She balances reading a book with listening to audiobooks, which allows her to read more than 300 books a year. Luckily, Suswati loves to read. One episode that inspired Suswati was with powerlifter and award-winning journalist, Poorna Bell. Poorna’s book, “Stronger: Changing Everything I Knew About Women’s Strength,” will change how the reader thinks about strength and empower them to discover what strength looks like for them. After airing this episode (“EP 48: How To Be Stronger”), Suswati heard from so many different women sharing their stories of strength and what they do to feel strong. 63
We are used to talking about the emotional strength women have, but rarely do we talk about their physical strength. This specific book is about how the author started powerlifting to help her cope with her grief after the death of her husband who had died by suicide. In her discussion with the author, Suswati was inspired because “women’s bodies are scrutinized so much in so many different respects. And so coming out from it, from the perspective that it doesn’t matter what the hell size you are, as long as you feel good about yourself.” It was very powerful for Suswati and what she needed to hear at that time. She adds, “Whether you listen to an episode or it’s one that you do yourself, where it just so impacts you so that is also gives you validation that you’re on the right path to be doing a podcast, you know, that it gives you that, that extra energy to keep going.” Suswati is inspired by the many incredible people that she’s talked with over the years. They enrich her life, and she hopes that her listeners’ lives are enriched as well. The evolution of How To Be happened very quickly and what surprised her the most was the community aspect of the show. “It’s just me with a voice, just sort of speaking out there not really knowing, but then as I was sort of looking into people, like trying to get people’s participation because I wanted to hear their thoughts and things, I just realized that so many people had so much to say,” she says. Seeing the community grow and having developed friendships with people has been wonderful for Suswati and made her realize that she’s not just one person talking into a microphone. Like many of us, Suswati has moments when she feels overwhelmed and headed toward burnout. She reassessed for the show’s second season because there was a week when she was working full time, reading 2-3 books, interviewing people, engaging with listeners, and editing. And with her health condition on top of all that, she needs to be very careful. “In terms of managing your health whilst doing your hobby, essentially what you’re passionate about, it’s trying to find that balance,” she says. Suswati decided to give herself a bit more of a break and still be consistent by airing episodes every two weeks. This gives her more time to read books and be more thoughtful about it. Not only does she want to continue to learn from her guests but she also wants to share that knowledge with her audience and create a community around that knowledge. She adds, “It doesn’t matter that we are not the same, you know, we may be different, from different parts of the world or different walks of life, but we can all sit, come together, and have a discussion. Which is what I’m trying to do, which is trying to create lots of different voices.” As an introvert, it was a bit scary for Suswati to approach people because she felt they were too big for her, and they wouldn’t want to bother. She recommends taking the time to reach out to people and even if they say no to being on the podcast, keep their contact information because they may be able to help you in the future. “At the beginning I was 64
very much afraid to do that, and I was waiting for people to come to me to be like, would you review my book. In a way that takes away your autonomy of how, what you want to report or what kind of subject you want to cover. That’s really important; it’s your podcast, and you shape it the way you want, even if it means you need to kind of think outside the box,” she says. She reiterates that you make the decision about your podcast and don’t let others dictate what you want. Suswati also develops a relationship with publishers, who she contacts periodically inquiring about their catalogs. Most publishers want to showcase new authors, and she will give the publishers a list of books she is interested in reviewing. How does she handle interviewing award-winning famous authors as an introvert? Suswati admits to being a bit of a fan girl when she first started How To Be. She made sure she was very prepared and had all of her questions ready. But even though she looked cool, calm, and collected on the outside, underneath the table Suswati would be wringing her hands to manage her excitement and anxiety. Although she is prepared, and has her questions at the ready, Suswati also thinks there is something in letting someone speak freely so their authentic voice can be heard. For instance, when she interviewed plane crash survivor Allan Lokos, founder and guiding teacher of the Community Meditation Center in New York City (EP 29), she found herself just sitting and listening to him. “It was just wonderful because he just has this, just the spirit of, you know, this is just the way it was,” she explains. At the end of the interview, Allan thanked her for just sitting and listening. “I thought that was quite powerful because sometimes in interviews, the interviewer keeps interjecting. So I think there’s something powerful by just sitting and listening and giving people some time to just kind of mull over their response,” she adds. For Suswati, she wants so much more for women podcasters. She wants them to get the recognition they deserve and to not have to constantly carry the baton for their own achievements. “That’s what I’ve seen so far. It’s women creating these podcast festivals for themselves. It’s women having to create these awards for themselves. I think women shouldn’t have to be carving spaces out; we’re still in the world. So I think the future should be mainstream,” she says. Suswati wants women podcasters to move forward as a movement because only having a very small percentage of women in the top tier of podcasting is not enough. She wants all women podcasters to band together and be more vocal in telling large organizations to give us the space and opportunities at conferences and on streaming services rather than having us do all the work by ourselves. So…who’s ready for the revolution?
Website: howtobe247.com Instagram: @howtobe247 Twitter Spaces: @suswatibasu YouTube: How To Be Country: United Kingdom 65
United State of Women by Tina Jaramillo
“It takes a lot to have to navigate bettering yourself and trusting yourself and trusting what you’re experiencing,” Kalena James, co-host of United State of Women podcast, tells me over a Zoom call. United State of Women is a podcast that offers a place for female leaders to progress and find their voice in not only business but also in state and local governments. The podcast started as a brunch, co-host Julie Deem explains. “Before the podcast there was this event that was hosted here in Indiana, and Kalena is actually the founder of this event,” she adds with a smile. Kalena happily offered more details, “[the Power Brunch] is a community event for women in a leadership role to have the opportunity to come together once a year to really empower.” She adds that the brunch was really to “inspire their leadership, inspire their ability to connect with other women in the community. To brunch, bond and then build, and so as a leadership development coach, I found that there are so many beautiful stories and so many wonderful things happening on a corporate level. But, on the other hand, there were a lot of women that were looking for leadership and mentorship, and it was a really great way to just create conversations, to share best practices and wisdom and success.” And that’s how co-hosts Kalena and Julie met. Julie explained that after working at one of the United State of Women Power Brunches, she pitched the idea of a podcast. She asked Kalema, “how cool would it be if we took this event, and we created a podcast out of it and we empowered women throughout the year? And then once a year we have an event that women can come to in person and be empowered together.” Their podcast essentially embodies what United State of Women is all about—empowerment and leadership. Kalena says, “[Julie] literally went from holding the front door for women as they entered into this beautiful facility to sitting at the front stage, launching our live podcast recording in front of a live studio audience.” United State of Women podcast offers listeners content focused on “educating and elevating women’s ability to have it all and teach them how to get it.” But for many women, achieving success is a daunting task. When asked how the podcast helps achieve this goal Kalena explains, “women have competing values; we’re nurturers, we’re home makers. We also have community advocacy work that we want to enjoy doing. We care a lot, and there are a lot of responsibilities that fall on our shoulders.” And she notes that for some, “winning in one area sometimes means losing in another.” And for her, the podcast offers a way to help women “navigate through what might be competing values or might be conflicting assumptions or interpretations around what this might cost them.” She hopes to encourage women to take “all of those concerns and needs and then apply leadership in a way that builds momentum and builds character and builds processes.” The format of the podcast is a mix of interviews and professional tips. When asked why they chose this format, Kalena feels that the tips are “moments when I am reflecting off of what I’m seeing in the community.” And the interviews offer a platform for experts to share their insights. 67
Still, finding guests to share those experiences isn’t an easy task for many podcasts. Julie explains her process of landing the best guests for the show. She states, “I’m looking for women that I resonate with.” Julie also spends time “searching for women to connect with and then through that process a friendship develops,” and she then invites them to be on the show. “It’s very much organic,” she continues. “Reaching into the community and seeing if there’s an interest, but I’ve also collaborated and partnered up with other podcasters.” The interview stories Kalena adds, “are always going to pull our heartstrings and in the story, we can find ourselves. The story helps users or listeners find themselves.” And with their podcast, they “try to weave in and out of the story to find the success.” Since the start of their podcast in 2019, Kalena and Julie have had a wealth of powerful guests. One guest that stands out to the co-hosts is from “Episode 38: A Closer Look at Human Trafficking, Rachel’s Story.” In this episode they speak to Rachel Haney about her journey through homelessness and her current work fighting human trafficking. Julie says she came across Rachel’s profile while scrolling through Instagram in search of moms from Indiana. They connected and “I Invite[d] her to the podcast,” Julie says. Rachel shared her incredible story with the podcast and Julie explains that Rachel also spoke about how “she has spent her now adult years really getting involved in helping with human trafficking and helping to bring awareness to sex trafficking and sex working.” Kalena explains that it’s stories like Rachel’s that are not only amazing, but they demonstrate women how have navigated through things that may not be typical yet still they manage to come out strong. She notes that “leadership is about emotional fitness and being able to have this ability to have some mental fitness and emotion.” So the interviews under the stewardship of Kalena’s coaching experience and Julie’s innovative approach have led to some phenomenal episodes. Still, even though Kalena has a wealth of leadership experience, podcasting was new to her. When asked what she wished she’d known prior to starting the podcast, pausing for a moment, she says, “I wish I would have known how impactful this was going to be and how much of a whirlwind this would take off and had recognized the sea legs that I had in the journey of it.” And she goes on to explain that “right now it’s just a really great way to create community and that’s most important to me. But there’s so many opportunities with it that we can really do more with it.” She also notes that while the tech side is something she wishes she knew a bit more about beforehand, even though she and Julie went through training and education before recording their first show. Julie adds, “I wish that we wouldn’t have felt like we needed a studio to record.” Even so she recognizes that though the technology was a bit of a barrier at first, she learned a whole new skill set from it. “Through podcasting I was able to gain an entirely new set of skills and so in 2020, when the world shut down, I was able to start my own business serving the podcast industry and managing podcasts and helping other women who might have seen the technology as a barrier for why they couldn’t have a podcast.”
The fact that the two work incredibly well together helped them on their podcasting journey. Co-hosting has been a wond erful experience for both Kalena and Julie. Though Julie loves spontaneity and Kalena prefers certainty, they’ve been able to balance both those things. For Kalena, she says the key to success when co-hosting a podcast is recognizing that “we honor each of our 68
uniqueness and value what each other brings to the table without judgment. It’s important for us to win together, even if there’s a sacrifice in the middle.” So even though they may be from different generations, they each recognize and respect each other for what they can bring to the microphone. Kalina adds, “Julie definitely gives me access to a generation of individuals that I would love to serve more and so I can’t speak for her, but I believe that the most powerful way that we can coexist is allow us to be who we are and contribute to that cause and be comfortable.” Julie concurs, stating “It is good, and I think having a co-host is awesome; you get to talk about things. I learned a lot from Kalena.” Kalena also found watching Julie grow in her role rewarding. She says, “Her initial vision to incorporate this medium for our listeners in a most powerful way outside of our local community allowed us to reach further, but to see her take an idea right and step into a purpose and then create a wonderful plan from it has been amazing.” Julie adds that, “The most rewarding thing for me has been just being able to serve in that capacity. I didn’t realize there were so many women that were intimidated by starting a podcast because they thought the technology was just too overwhelming to even mess with. But now that I can educate them, that’s been really rewarding.”
When asked what they would say to women who want to start a podcast, they both offered solid advice. “For one I would like to see more women podcasters,” Julie says. Adding, “I don’t understand why there’s not more women.” She remarked that she “would like to see more people advocate for themselves and share themselves because I think podcasting gets this misconception that it’s just girlfriends watching reality programs and talking trash about The Bachelor or that it’s all true crime, and there’s more than that. There are so many layers, and there’s so many different genres, and maybe you haven’t found the podcast that’s right for you, but when you do it’s gonna definitely trigger something in you and it’s gonna make you wanna do more.” Kalena closed our Zoom call with the hopeful note of intentionality saying that for women who want to podcast, it should be about “picking up the microphone and doing some amazing things with it.” And these two have done just that with their podcast United State of Women.
Website: anchor.fm/united-state-of-women Instagram: @uswkokomo Country: United States 69
Create A Home Studio No Matter The Budget by Kathy Barron
We’ve all experienced that moment when we are ready to press record and the fridge clicks on or the neighbor decides to try out their new chainsaw. Instead of throwing up your hands and calling it a day, here are some tips for soundproofing and treating a space in your home. Depending on the podcaster you ask, a home podcast studio can mean different things. For some, soundproof walls, a padded table, and a mixer with multiple microphones is what they have in mind. For others, it’s sitting on a stool in a walk-in closet with a USB microphone plugged into their computer. The bottom line is that creating a home studio is possible no matter the size of your budget or living space. Soundproofing vs. Sound Treatment First, let’s clarify the difference between soundproofing and sound treatment. To “soundproof” a room means you are isolating it from any unwanted external noise. There’s a misconception that by putting up some foam acoustic tiles on a wall you’re “soundproofing” the room. But that isn’t going to have any impact on noise bleeding through from outside. To “sound treat” a room means you are going to improve the audio quality within that room. Excessive reverb or echo on your voice can make your show sound amateurish. A room with a lot of hard and bare surfaces will have your voice bouncing around. On the other hand, a room with soft and furnished surfaces will minimize the echo. Think of the way your voice sounds in the bathroom, compared to the bedroom. Finding the best sounding room or space in your house is a good starting point. This might be a walk-in closet or a small bedroom. As long as it’s a low traffic area and will cut down on external noise. Improvisation is essential, so stay open to the possibilities. Instead of focusing on the room as a whole, create a small studio around yourself and your audio equipment. Using pillows, blankets, or a clothes rack will provide a sort of cocoon and create good quality audio. However, make sure it’s comfortable enough to record a full podcast episode. The last thing you need is a sore neck and back! If you have a designated room to record your podcast (that is a multi-purpose room), you can make or buy acoustic foam panels or partitions. These can be easily set up and taken down when not in use. Acoustic blankets or heavy duty curtains can also be used by hanging on hooks or curtain rods. 71
When deciding on which room to create your home podcast studio, think about how much noise, if any, the room will have: ◊ Are any of the walls of the room external or joined to your neighbor’s house? ◊ Is there a window in the room? Does it back onto a busy street with lots of noise outside? ◊ Does the room have anything in it that might make noise? A fridge, floor heater, or thermostat that clicks sporadically. Blocking the window with blankets or a heavy duty curtain might block out any unwanted noise. If you live in an apartment building and the walls are paper thin, constructing a cocoon out of pillows, cushions, and blankets will help with excessive noise. You can also prop pillows and cushions around the microphone (only) to help with echo and reverb. Try different setups until you find the right one that works for you and provides good quality audio for your show. We can’t control all excessive noise, so decide which ones you can live with and which ones you really don’t want on your recording. Whether it’s using acoustic tiles and blankets or using household items like pillows, cushions, or comforters, it doesn’t matter because listeners won’t know the difference as long as the audio is good quality.
Introducing & Ending Episodes Creating An Effective Intro Although most podcasters give their attention and focus to the content of the episode, listeners won’t get to it if they stop listening after a few minutes. That’s where the podcast episode introduction (aka intro) comes in. The intro has many purposes: 1. sets the stage for what’s to come 2. hooks the listener so they continue to listen 3. offers a chance to impress new listeners You have only a few minutes to hook your listener, so I wouldn’t recommend starting the episode with an ad. New listeners, who have no loyalty to your podcast, won’t stick around to get to the heart of the episode. Once the podcast music starts playing, the listener will be asking themselves the following questions: ಂ What’s going on? ಂ Is it interesting? ಂ What am I getting out of it? It’s essential that the podcast intro answer at least one of those questions and engage the listener so they won’t wander off. Hooking The Listener I’m not one for strict rules and believe that everyone has their own way of creating their podcast as it fits their brand. It’s important to be unique and stand out in the podcasting community. With that said, it’s essential that you engage your listener from the get go. Here are some ideas for what to include in your podcast intro: » » » »
Welcome the listener by stating your name(s) and the name of your podcast. Announce your tag line or a brief description of your podcast. Are you a mental health podcast? True crime? Who is the podcast for? Give a brief description of the episode. What topic will you be talking about? If a guest is on the episode, introduce them by telling the listener their background, a book they are promoting, or what makes them an expert on the topic to be discussed. 75
Many podcasters use a cold open at the beginning of their episodes. A cold open is the practice of jumping directly into a story at the beginning of the episode before the hosts introduce themselves or the podcast name. Depending on how well a cold open is done, this may confuse the listener into thinking the episode had already started and they are coming into the middle of it. So think about the intro and how it aligns with your brand. You want to hook the listener in sooner than later, so they don’t press the stop button and move on. Ending the Episode Now that you’ve hooked the listener and they’ve listened to the whole episode, it’s time to close the deal. The final few minutes of the episode could make or break the relationship you just created with the listener. You want them to subscribe and become a loyal listener. The ending (aka outro) is to thank the listener for tuning in and to give them pertinent information that applies to the episode and your podcast. Here are some ideas for what to include in your podcast outro: 5 Thank them for listening. 5 Give them a Call to Action (CTA). This could include having them email you with questions or feedback, review the podcast, buy you a coffee or become a patron. Don’t overload them with too many requests. Giving one or two CTA’s per episode will give the listener a clear option. 5 Mention where they can find the show notes. 5 If possible, offer them a teaser of what’s in store on the next episode. 5 Mention one way they can contact you (social media, email, website). Some podcasts use pre-recorded intros and outros. I have two outros; one is of me closing out the episode (in real time) and the other is a pre-recording that thanks the listener and how they can get in touch with me. Pre-recorded intros and outros can offer that extra layer of polish, but keep them as short and succinct as possible. If you play the same long clip at the start and end of every episode, listeners will tire of it very quickly and skip past those segments. The length of the intro and outro should be 30 seconds or less. The intro and outro are the two bookends to your podcast. Their intention is to support and enhance the content of the episode. You want to start and end the episode with a BANG! You want the listener to come back episode after episode and become a loyal listener. You don’t need to overthink or spend a lot of time creating them. It’s all about putting a few good practices in place that make sure you’re always growing your listenership. Over time, the things you want to include at the beginning and end of your episode will become second nature to you. 76